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The History of the Vibrator

Victorian-Era Doctors Gave Patients a Prescription For Pleasure

Hysteria, the upcoming Victorian-era rom-com staring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, and Rupert Everett, takes on the creation of the first vibrator. The trailer is out today, and it look likes Hugh Dancy, who plays the inventor-doctor, doesn't hold back in his pursuit of female pleasure.

By failing to acknowledge women as sexual, our prudish Victorian-era ancestors took part in something we would find shocking today: doctors essentially having sex with their patients. The medical community considered female sexual arousal a disorder that needed treatment. Symptoms of so-called "female hysteria" included anxiety, sexual fantasies, pelvic heaviness, and vaginal lubrication. They had the same remedy for such symptoms as we do today, an orgasm, but back then physicians administered them.

Doctors would rub a "hysterical" woman's vulva until she experienced dramatic relief through "paroxysm," aka orgasm. After treating various hysterical women, a doctor's hands and wrists would get tired. So in 1870, one doctor created a steam-powered machine that would administer orgasms and become the ancestor of today's vibrators. Soon even the Princess of Wales would order "Horse-Action Saddles" (seen in this ad) proven to treat hysteria.

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Watch the Hysteria trailer below.

Join The Conversation
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 5 years
Oh no they didn't! Ahaha I can't believe this movie..
dahliadreamer dahliadreamer 5 years
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_hysteria
whats-her-name whats-her-name 6 years
Wow. That's both sad and hysterically funny. The movie sounds like it would be very very interesting though.
Venus1 Venus1 6 years
There's one doc in my surgery who can sort my hysteria any day (or should that be every day?). On a more serious note, clearly there was no multimedia methods of passing on sexual knowledge. Could it have been that doctors were one of the few groups of men that had began to understand the power of the clitoris? .
omigosh omigosh 6 years
toady?
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